Coming into the 2023 season, the Kansas City Chiefs looked as deep as ever in the Patrick Mahomes era (and perhaps the Andy Reid era as well). The offensive line had multiple quality backups, the secondary presented impossible decisions at roster cuts, and there was more talent at LB than ever. One area looked woefully thin, however: running back.
Let's be honest and say going thin at running back is definitely the way to go in terms of modern roster building in the NFL. The position is the easiest to fill and the cheapest, so if a team has to live with a shortcoming, running back is a good one to choose.
But a problem is still a problem and it's quite possible the Chiefs have (another) one on offense brewing at running back. That's because Isiah Pacheco was held out of practice on Wednesday due to a hamstring contusion.
The Chiefs held Pacheco out of practice on Wednesday, and if the trend continues, the backfield doesn't look so hot.
After practice, head coach Andy Reid spoke to Chiefs reporters and described Pacheco's injury in short-term language, with only returner RIchie James as the long-term concern. That said, any injury puts a player at risk for complications and Pacheco came into this season rehabilitating both his shoulder and hand following multiple offseason surgeries.
Without Pacheco, the cupboard is pretty bare on the Chiefs roster in terms of anyone who can generate real yards on the ground as a respectable threat. Jerick McKinnon is a well-rounded tandem partner who does the most damage as a pass-catching option out of the backfield, but there's a reason he's not the bell cow here. Clyde Edwards-Helaire should be all of these things as a former first-round pick but that ship has also sailed.
If something happens to Pacheco, the team will likely turn to internal candidates like La'Mical Perine to fill the void, depending on the length of time, but any contest without Pacheco places even greater pressure on a passing attack that has admittedly struggled to find its footing in the season's early going.